Interac finds meaning in taking control of your money

Canadians want to spend less, but the payment brand doesn't think that should stand in the way of a joyful holiday.


Many Canadians are being extra cautious about their finances heading into the holidays, and Interac is trying to show them that doesn’t need to stop them from giving gifts that are very meaningful.

Interac has launched an integrated holiday campaign that is led by a series of TV ads and online videos featuring people showing off the gifts that “meant a million” to them, despite their humble origins, be it the well-worn cook book a chef got from a friend that helped him get out of a rut, or the second-hand bike that a man got from his grandfather that turned into a project that ultimately brought them closer together.

Matt Houghton, director of digital and integrated marketing for Interac, says the brand’s messaging has always been based around people using their own money instead of credit, and this campaign is layering the idea of not spending a lot in general on top of that. He says that message is even more meaningful in a year when many Canadians have had their relationship with money changed by the pandemic, and many are expecting spend less during the holiday season.

This year’s campaign builds on an approach Interac took last year, moving away from the materialistic nature of the holidays to focus on experiences and moments that bring joy during the holiday season, with purchases not getting more extravagant than a cup of hot chocolate or a string of Christmas lights.

Houghton says the target for the campaign isn’t radically different than years past, and is still relatively broad, though it has focused the messaging slightly to be focus on 25- to 35-year-olds. That group that has a greater proclivity to spend with their own money, and want to feels like they are confident and in control of their spending.

The media mix is also reflecting this focus, Houghton says. While it is video-driven, only “a small portion” of the media spend is going to conventional TV, with the rest focused on connected TV, social and digital video platforms, with creative and stories tailored to each one.

The campaign was created and produced by Zulu Alpha Kilo and production division Zulubot, with the national media buy handled by Media Experts.

Outside of videos, Interac has created curated gift guides, such as one showing people how to shop locally in partnership with Narcity. It will also be running ads on Spotify and Walmart Canada’s website, as well as content developed with relevant Instagram and TikTok influencers.

While traditional point-of-sale transactions are lower as people consolidate their shopping moments and venture outdoors less frequently, Houghton reports that there has been a record number of e-transfers this year.